Hone Ngata, 48, also known as DJ Poroufessor, passed away suddenly earlier this week. Today his whānau and friends acknowledged Ngata's services to his community, to Aotearoa Hip Hop culture, saying his passion for te ao Māori will live on.
Close friend and long-time work colleague Carmen Hetaraka (Ngāti Wai) says, “He was a man of grace who held his people in high regard.”
Born and raised in Gisborne, Ngata (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Ranginui), was a known social media influencer and a leader in the Aotearoa Hip Hop scene.
He was also recognised for his help with rangatahi, especially in the South Auckland region, particularly because the youth could relate to him.
“We worked together in prisons, particularly in youth justice residence. Plus, we also took part in programmes with Oranga Tamariki.”
TV personality and whanaunga to Ngata, Te Hamua Nikora reminisced about growing up with Ngata on Tindall Rd in Kaiti, their group TOHU - Tipuna Origins Highly Uplifted, and about the strong messages that were handed down to them by their ancestors which made them the passionate Māori men they came to be.
He says his future was already set before becoming an integral part of Māori Television's former flagship sports show, Code.
“I was talking to Bailey [Mackey] about the famous phrase Mean Māori Mean. Then we decided to have it on Code [Māori Television]. But Hone Ngata was Mr Mean Māori Mean.”
“His drops [performance] ‘Mean Māori Mean’ went viral. The way he stood was Mean Māori Mean,” says Nikora.
Ngata’s whānau, friends and colleagues gave him an emotional send-off at Raukura Hauora o Tainui in Manukau today for his journey home to Tauranga Moana, on his classic lime lowrider.
His burial is on Monday.